According to statistics, the average time it takes the conveyancing process to complete when buying a home now stands anywhere between 8-12 weeks.
Understandably, clients will often want it to be on the quicker end of this scale.
Whilst our residential conveyancing solicitors team will always go above and beyond to try and meet any deadlines our clients have, some factors can often be outside of our control – especially where there is a long chain involved. There is a large amount of administrative and legal work in order to make your property sale and/or purchase legally watertight, and each and every delay we experience in response can have a knock-on effect. If you multiply this down a long line of conveyancing solicitors in a chain of properties, you can quickly see how and why long delays can happen.
However, there are some actions that our clients can take to ensure they are doing all that they can on their side to contribute to a smooth and efficient process.
Be quick to take the first steps
Once you have had an offer accepted on a property, you should be prepared to take the next steps quickly. Before you make an offer, you should already have a mortgage agreed in principle so you can prove you have access to the funds required to complete the purchase. You should then be in a position to appoint a conveyancing solicitor – ideally within the few days after having your offer accepted.
Have the paperwork in place
If you’re selling a property as well as buying one, there is a greater chance of encountering stumbling blocks that could delay the process. Having the necessary documentation in place before putting your house on the market will give you the peace of mind that things are in place. Examples of this are an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the necessary certification for any work you have had done on the property. This could include planning permission and building regulations approval. If the house was a new build when it was purchased, any remaining building warranties or an NHBC certificate will be required by the new buyer.
Appoint a surveyor
If you want to have a survey completed on the property you’re buying, you should appoint a surveyor as soon as possible. It may be a couple of weeks until they have an appointment available to complete the survey, and the results could take another week or so.
Deal with any issues promptly.
If the survey or the searches completed on the house reveal any issues, be sure to respond to these quickly. If anything is a major concern, you may want to seek further advice. This will inevitably delay the process, so be sure to act in a decisive fashion if you still wish to proceed with the purchase.
Communication is key
At the outset of the process, you should establish a preferred method of communication with your conveyancing solicitor. Most solicitors are able to accept documentation via email; reducing any delays that could be caused by using the post.
Along each stage of the process, your conveyancing solicitor will need information to be provided. Responding promptly where input is required will allow your solicitor to take their next steps sooner, aiding and smoothing the overall process.
Have a backup plan
Whilst most clients would like to see the conveyancing process complete quickly, as the above explains, there are many points at which there is a possibility for delays to occur. Therefore, we always suggest that clients have arrangements in place as to their accommodation and be prepared for it to take much longer.
For any further advice or to enquire about our conveyancing services, please contact us on 01457 761320 or email email@example.com.